The town faces a $14 million deficit, worse than originally projected, Supervisor Paula Mahan announced this afternoon.
The figure covers the town through 2006, so the deficit could be even higher when the numbers are crunched from 2007.
At a news conference this afternoon, Mahan said two separate audit teams hired under the administration of former Republican Supervisor Mary Brizzell agreed on the $14 million figure.
When Mahan learned several weeks ago that the deficit was worse than she anticipated, she ordered a freeze on all non-essential town spending. She said the town has a very serious financial condition, and it will take years to get out of it.
She expects the freeze will last several months, until everything is reviewed and analyzed — including a state audit expected to be released any day.
The bad news about the town’s financial situation began to spill out when a Moody’s Investor Service report issued in 2007 said the town had a deficit of $8.5 million.
Town officials neglected what they should have been doing to maintain the town’s financial health with internal controls and a system of checks and balances, said Mahan. Under Brizzell’s administration, Mahan said, the town had no tracking system for requests for spending.
More from The Daily Gazette: